Monthly Archives: November 2012

Ride Report: First sub-32 degree ride of the season

Every year, I turn into a chicken in late November when the weather starts getting really cold. I start thinking up excuses not to ride, and I’ll even skip one or two. I always get over it after a week or two of cold weather, after I realize that—provided I’m dressed properly—I’m not going to die after all. In fact, riding in the cold is a blast.

Today was my first sub-freezing ride of the season. It was only 26 miles, and it might have been 33 or 34 degrees in the sun, but it was pretty damn cold with the wind. I started at my place in Olivebridge, and hit about 10 miles of gravel, starting with Woodland Road, which leads past So-Hi campground.

Unfortunately, the two great parts of the route are linked by Route 209, which has relatively heavy traffic but wide shoulders. I continued on route 209 for 6 miles, and then took a right on Mettacahonts to head back home. The fun begins at Bakerstown Road.

Dug Road. There’s a good climb to get up here. I’m usually accompanied by Dug the dog. I don’t know who owns him (actually her) but she’s always running around in this area. One time she followed me at about 15-20 mph for over 3 miles. She looked tired and was panting really hard, so I let her lap Gatoraid out of the top of my water bottle.

Dug Road peaks with a nice view of the Catskills

Dug leads into Sundale Road. Getting closer to home. I still can’t believe I live here!

And finally Lower Sahler Mill Road. Good trout fishing in the stream to the right.

Here’s the chariot. I’m going to remove the ugly damn Zipp stickers.

In any case, I’m now over my annual case of cold-induced anxiety. At the end of my ride it was 26 degrees and I was fine. In fact, better than last year since I finally gave in and bought some neoprene booties.

Here’s the route. I changed the starting point to Stone Ridge for those of you who are interested in riding these roads.

GPS coordinates can be found here.

…and I promise to fill you in on much longer rides—ones that are worth the trip out here—in the near future.



On September 17, 2012, I finally left New York City behind and moved to Olivebridge, New York. I had been riding up here for years, always taking the train from Grand Central and then leaving from Poughkeepsie. I always had this notion that someday I’d live here. Well, here I am in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, and this is the view from my window.

And why not? Our neighborhood—South Street Seaport—was going the way of the East Village circa 2003, mostly due to the fact that the fish market had moved out. We both work from home and have no particular reason to be in the city any more.

We were particularly lucky because, just a few weeks after we moved, our neighborhood was flooded and our building was rendered more-or-less permanently uninhabitable.

I’ll be honest: I mostly moved up here because of the riding. This blog will focus on riding in the Catskills, particularly the rough and dirty rides on back roads, on gravel, and occasionally cross country (although the latter is almost always accidental).

I’ve had a chance to ride most everywhere in the Tristate area and beyond, and—take it from me—this is the best riding to be found in three states, and perhaps anywhere in the US. All of it accessible by train from New York. I’ll try to provide guidance on the best rides, where to start, where to refill your water bottles and eat, and what to avoid, and I’ll include maps and GPS files. I’ll also talk about my bikes, post an occasional product review, and lots of pictures of animals.